Mega Producer Mona Scott-Young Is Celebrating Hip Hop and Expanding Her Reality Empire to Include More Folks

Image: Jaxon Photography

Mona Scott-Young, the woman behind some of TV’s biggest reality shows, is having one heck of a Hip-Hop History Month this November. “We just celebrated Missy Elliott, an icon in hip hop. She was awarded her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” Scott-Young declares. “That was a momentous occasion in hip hop history, long overdue and well deserved.” 

The prolific producer is also honoring music executive and co-founder of record label Violator, Chris Lighty, at the Universal Hip Hop Museum on November 23. “We want to celebrate Chris’ legacy and his presence in the hip hop community,” she says of her fellow producer who died in 2012. “We’re just continuing to raise awareness with what’s happening in hip hop now and paying tribute to the history of it all.” 

We can’t forget that Scott-Young has been giving us a delicious peek inside the personal and professional lives of our favorite hip-hop and R&B stars with her hit reality series Love & Hip Hop, which is still going strong 10 years after its series premiere. “We watched this thing go from a thirty-minute, six-episode idea to a mega-successful franchise in multiple cities with specials and spin-offs galore,” Scott-Young declares. “What it’s done for not only the talent that’s on-screen but the producing community at large, especially when you think about the Brown community that we have working on the show as well, it’s been tremendous.”

Now Scott-Young is ready to do it again, this time with a reggaeton beat. Her newest reality docu-series, Everybody Loves Natti, premieres on Prime Video on November 19. It follows the very public persona of Natti Natasha, a Dominican reggaeton superstar and Latin music’s leading female recording artist—and for the first time reveals Natti’s very private personal life. “She’s got this personality, that thing that you can never put your finger on or predict,” explains Scott-Young. “It’s a dynamic, irrepressible, charming, lovable, vulnerable transparency that I think people will fall in love with.”

Natti’s story truly is reality show gold. “When I connected with her initially, I thought it’s going to be really hard to get her to open up and give something,” admits Scott-Young. But Natti was ready to reveal that she has been in a romantic relationship with her longtime manager Raphy Pina, founder of Pina Records. “I was like, that’s a bombshell!” recalls Scott-Young with a laugh. But that wasn’t the only nugget Natti wanted to drop. The singer also revealed she was pregnant with the couple’s first child. “As a producer, these are the kinds of life-changing moments that you can only hope for,” shares Scott-Young. “The journey that she had gone on—trying to get pregnant and going through in vitro—if she was going to share any part of her life, this was the moment to do so.” For Scott-Young, who wants to develop content for larger, more diverse audiences and put more Brown faces on the screen, this story, “ended up being a very personal journey for one of the biggest stars in the world… I could not have scripted it if I had tried.” 

Taking yet another new path, Everybody Loves Natti is a bilingual series. “When we got in there and they started communicating with Raphy, who only speaks a little English, Natti would be going back and forth, half in English and Spanish with him for interviews,” Scott-Young shares. “It was not distracting. And you’re still able to follow the story seamlessly.”

Telling the stories of people from all corners of the earth is one Scott-Young wants to continue. “My team is invested in telling those stories. There’s an obligation there for me to continue to push through, not just stories for an African-American audience, but for Latin audiences, for Asian audiences,” she says. “It’s all about building that bridge between communities, cultures, and people. That’s what storytelling is about, and I’m committed to continuing to expand on the audiences that we’re speaking to and telling those stories.”

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